We have all experienced it, we walk into an outlet seeking to make a purchase, sometimes even have the goods in hand, only to look around to find no one wants to help you complete your purchase.

Has customer service been driven out of the retail or distributor fundamentals?

The continual drive to reduce labour costs, combined with a company drive for results and a differing mindset of the younger generation is leading to a customer service break down with 2 losers, one being the company as they lose the sale and the other being the customer who just wanted some customer service.

Some dynamic companies are now refocusing their vision and are shifting towards a development program purely focused on increasing the customer experience through customer focus training.

This may sound very basic but the slow shift away from customer service over recent years and the increase in online purchases has had a significant impact on retail and distributors revenue and profits.

In the past it has been acceptable to have a company drive their focus only on volume rather than the customer. This had to change if companies wanted to stay competitive in the market and it impacts companies of all sizes.

RdL has an extremely large multi national that has its customer challenges yet has struggled to shift away from traditional mindsets. RdL has partnered with this client to shift how they think resulting in a twofold win for the client.

Firstly, and at the forefront of the clients mind is the increase in sales revenue due to the program.

Secondly and equally important has been the significant shift in relationships between the company and its customers.

Rather than an approach of pushing for sales, the client now partners with their customers and distributors to assist them in selling more product. The sales team are now consultants who focus their energy, passion and training towards providing advice and support to help the customer realise their full potential.

They are offering advice of a genuine nature, building trust and respect with the customer, and in turn this is building loyalty from the customer, something that has significant long term benefits.

As a result of being customer focused rather than sales focused the job satisfaction of the employee is growing significantly and the dreaded sales call or having to deal with a customer shifts to one of excitement as they enjoy the fresh approach of making a difference.

All our people need the sense of worth and if we develop our people in the right areas, the natural result is significantly improved sales revenue and much happier customers.